What to do if church accidentally paid social security and Medicare on clergy

by Carol
(Austin, TX)

I meet the qualifications as clergy. My church paid me a housing allowance and I requested that they withhold taxes from my check. I realized when I received my w2 that they also withheld security security and Medicare. How is that corrected?

Comments for What to do if church accidentally paid social security and Medicare on clergy

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Jul 16, 2018
Soc Sec
by: Anonymous

If you did not apply for the exemption AND receive an approval letter from the IRS the church IS to deduct SS/FICA taxes.
It is not an automatic that clergy doesn’t pay into Soc Sec.

Jul 16, 2018
Minister Earnings Covered Under SECA
by: Vickey

I am not sure I understand what you are saying in the comment "Soc Sec".

You are correct in that a clergy HAS to pay into social security UNDER the SECA system UNLESS they apply for a receive approval from the IRS to opt out of SS by filing a form 4321. For more information, click on TOPICS at the top of this page and then MINISTER TAXES. Then scroll down to " Opting out of Social Security".

However, if you are stating that a church must receive official recognition from the IRS before they do NOT withhold and match FICA from their minister's earnings ... then I respectfully disagree.

I have read IRS Pub 517 and Topic # 417 and both publications state that ministers are covered under the SECA system UNLESS they have been approved to opt out, so churches (even those that have not filed a 1023 and obtained recognition from the IRS) CANNOT withhold and match FICA with their minister earnings.

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